Dec. 23.2020 | Updated: September 17, 2021

Why Do Dogs Bite Their Tails

dog biting tail

The situation when a dog biting tail is familiar and not surprising. Dog chew tail while playing. It really looks cute and funny. However, sometimes such actions are not harmless and are not related to playing. The persistent desire to bite itself may indicate a serious health problem for the pet.

So why does a dog chewing on tail?


dog biting his tail

Doctors’ experience shows that puppies and older dogs are more likely to chase their tails. Young puppies catch up and chew on their tails as part of their exploration of the outside world, so when a dog biting his tail, you shouldn’t worry. However, you should not react to this behavior; even unconscious encouragement can be misunderstood.

Playing with the tail is harmless and should not bother the owner of the puppy to behave in this way. Babies are weaned from their mother or siblings, so at first, they feel lonely and try to entertain themselves. The tail is a toy for the puppy.

A dog keeps chewing tail suffering from separation, like a nervous person who chews his nails during stress. In this situation, it is enough to enthuse the baby, pay him more attention, and the tail chewing habit will pass on its own.


When the tail becomes an object of chewing and stalking in an older dog, the prognosis is worse. Like humans, dogs are prone to relapsing dementia. The risk of developing obsessive-compulsive disorder increases with age.

If your dog bites its own tail until it bleeds for a few days, accompanied by whining or growling, you should take him to the vet. For an adult dog, this kind of play cannot be considered the norm: it is always evidence of health problems. The doctor will examine the animal, treat the wounds, and prescribe the necessary treatment.

Reasons Why Dog Keeps Biting His Tail

dog chewing on tail

The reasons for a dog biting the base of the tail but no fleas can be divided into physiological and psychological. In the first case, the animal experiences unpleasant feelings and tries to get rid of them. The dog chewing the base of the tail for the following reasons:

  • Infestation by fleas or ticks. Small black dots on the skin are feces of parasites that settle in places that are difficult for the dog to reach. Insect bites cause itching, which the animal tries to get rid of.
  • Allergic reaction. Most often rashes on the skin appear after eating new food, during a grass bloom, or irritation from road reagents. Manifestations of allergies are mainly localized in the groin, under the arms, between the fingers, but often affect the skin around the tail. The presence of allergies is indicated by red spots or dots under the coat.
  • Helminthiasis. When infected with worms, the dog experiences itching in the anus area, trying to scratch the ground or the floor with it.
  • Trauma. The dog biting the tail base, trying to get rid of the pain.

If there are no signs of allergies or parasite infestation, then the cause is psychological. The dog is experiencing a lack of attention, stress from the turbulent environment, overexertion from too much physical activity.

Psychological Reasons

dog chew tail

Some dogs, like some people, suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). A dog suffering from separation can chase its tail like a nervous person who chews his nails while stressed.

OCD is usually preceded by trauma or prolonged stress. At some point, the dog gets sick or in pain, starts twisting around to lie down, and finds that he is relieved.

Not paying attention to the problem on time can have a serious effect on the animal’s overall condition. In the initial stages, neuroses are manifested by inhibited reactions and severe overexcitement. The pet feels constant stress, tension, and fear.

The following factors can provoke a neurotic disorder:

  • prolonged exposure to strong stressful stimuli;
  • the physical exhaustion of the animal;
  • systemic intoxications and diseases of the infectious type.

You should not take neurosis lightly. Tail biting indicates the beginning of the development of a pathological process. As a result of the lack of timely therapy, the pet begins to get sick.

Only attention and a friendly attitude towards the pet will help maintain its physical and psychological health! The following factors can provoke a stressful state in a pet:

  • intense fear;
  • moving to a new place;
  • absence of the owner for a long time;
  • resentment against the owner;
  • A sudden change of climate.

How to Help a Dog?

Of course, it’s hard for every owner to watch their dog biting its tail and whining. That’s why to take your dog to the vet regularly. After all, regular visits to the vet can prevent serious pet illnesses. Don’t forget that your dog also needs regular bathing, brushing, and haircuts.

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